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Papa John's Earnings Top Expectations, Shares Rise Sharply

Papa John's revenue soared 25% year-over-year as the pandemic has sparked plentiful demand for pizza.
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Shares of Papa John's International  (PZZA) - Get Papa John's International Inc. Report rose sharply Thursday after the fast-food chain announced earnings that beat expectations for the first quarter.

Revenue soared 25% in the quarter to $511.7 million from $409.9 million a year ago. The latest figure topped the FactSet analyst consensus of $470 million.

Comparable sales jumped 26.2% in North America and 23.2% overseas. Analysts predicted 14.9% growth for North America and 17.4% for abroad.

The pandemic has sparked plentiful demand for pizza. Papa John’s cited the new Epic Stuffed Crust pizza in North America and the company's expanding customer base for its strong results.

Profit registered $27.1 million, or 82 cents per share, up from $8.4 million, or 15 cents per share, last year. Adjusted EPS came in at 90 cents, besting analysts’ forecast of 56 cents.

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The company’s stock recently traded at $101.28, up 7.7%, and has climbed 12% over the past month.

Papa John’s arch rival, Domino's Pizza  (DPZ) - Get Domino's Pizza Inc Report, last week reported that first-quarter revenue rose 13% but lagged analyst expectations.

Revenue registered $983.7 million in the quarter, up from $873.1 million a year earlier. The FactSet analyst consensus called for $985 million in the latest quarter.

Domino’s posted profit of $117.8 million, or $3 a share, down from $121.6 million, or $3.07 per share, in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts expected earnings per share of $2.94 in the latest quarter.

On Monday, Domino's Pizza said it had entered into a $1 billon accelerated-share-repurchase agreement with Barclays. Domino's said it would pay the bank $1 billion cash for about 2 million shares.